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The Ivy Portfolio: How to Invest Like the Top Endowments and Avoid Bear Markets


We all know that the most impressive investment returns are from endowment funds and, in particular, Yale and Harvard. Faber and Richardson take us inside these two funds and show us how to replicate that model for our portfolios. The Ivy Portfolio is an easy to read and understand book that will make the process of asset allocation and investment easier for readers. And in light of the recent market turmoil, its lessons are even more important.
John Mauldin, author of the bestselling Bull's Eye Investing and the weekly newsletter Thoughts from the Frontline

"Meb Faber makes a most compelling case for quantitative active asset allocation. Investors of all levels of sophistication will benefit handsomely from the insights and analyses presented in The Ivy Portfolio."
Rob Arnott, Chairman, and Jason Hsu, Chief Investment Officer, Research Affiliates, LLC; coauthors of The Fundamental Index: A Better Way to Invest

"Analysis of institutional holdings (13F analysis) is one of the most useful yet underused tools in an investor's research arsenal. Along with taking readers into the arcane world of endowment investing, The Ivy Portfolio provides actionable advice on how to trade alongside the top investment professionals of our time."
Justin Walters, cofounder, Bespoke Investment Group LLC

A do-it-yourself guide to investing like the renowned Harvard and Yale endowments

The Ivy Portfolio shows step by step how to track and mimic the investment strategies of the highly successful Harvard and Yale endowments. Using the endowment Policy Portfolios as a guide, the authors illustrate how an investor can develop a strategic asset allocation using an ETF-based investment approach. With all of the uncertainty in the markets today, The Ivy Portfolio helps the reader answer the most often asked question in investing today—"What do I do?"

"[Faber and Richardson] analyze how the endowments of Harvard and Yale posted such world-beating performance. Then they offer a simplified model that regular people can adopt."
Bloomberg Businessweek

Mebane T. Faber, CAIA, CMT, is the Portfolio Manager at Cambria Investment Management where he manages equity and global tactical asset allocation portfolios and the Cambria Global Tactical ETF (GTAA). He is a frequent speaker and writer on investment strategies and authors the World Beta blog.

Eric W. Richardson, JD, is the founder and CEO of Cambria Investment Management. He serves as the co-manager of the global tactical asset allocation portfolios and the Cambria Global Tactical ETF (GTAA).



Part One: Constructing Your Ivy Portfolio.

Chapter 1 The Super Endowments.

Endowments Are Different.

Size Matters . . . .

. . . and So Does Performance.

Active Management over Passive.


Chapter 2 The Yale Endowment.

History of the Endowment.

David Swensen's Ascent.

Of Alphas and Betas.

Outlining the Yale Process.

Domestic Equity.

Foreign Equity.


Real Assets.

Private Equity.


Chapter 3 The Harvard Endowment.

History of the Endowment.

The Owner's Mentality.

Harvard's Swensen.

More Money, More Problems.

How Harvard Does It.


Chapter 4 Building Your Own Ivy League Portfolio.

Do as I Do—Shadowing the Super Endowments.

Risk-Adjusted Returns.

Do as I Say.

Infl ation Is the Enemy.

Creating an All-Weather Policy Portfolio through Indexing.

Implementing Your Portfolio.

Rebalancing Your Portfolio.


Part Two: Alternatives.

Chapter 5 Private Equity.

What Is Private Equity?

Historical Returns and Benchmarking.

How to Invest in Publicly Listed Private Equity.


Chapter 6 Hedge Funds.

A Brief Introduction to Hedge Funds.

Fund of Funds.

Options to Invest in Hedge Funds.

Individual Hedge Funds.

Fund of Funds.

Practical Considerations.


Part Three: Active Management.

Chapter 7 Winning by Not Losing.

Losing Hurts.

The Quantitative System.

Out-of-Sample Testing and Systematic Tactical Asset Allocation.


A Rotation System.

Practical Considerations and Taxes.


The Systems versus the Endowments.

Why It Works.


Chapter 8 Following the Smart Money.

Introduction to the 13F.

Combining the Top Fund Managers to Create Your Own Fund of Funds.


Chapter 9 Develop an Action Plan.

Implementing Your Ivy Portfolio.

Portfolios Discussed in The Ivy Portfolio.

Appendix A: A Brief Review of Momentum and Trend Following.

Appendix B: Additional Charts.

Appendix C: Recommended Reading.


About the Authors.